“Sometimes there are no words. No words to describe what we feel, and no words that could truly comfort us.”
It’s the second time around that I’ve started a blog post with these words. These are the beginning sentences of one of my love letters I volunteered to write back in December. And I still believe every single one of the above words.
I won’t share the whole letter with you, but it was along the lines of the, by now cliché, “time will heal all wounds”.
Because as much as I wanted to find some amazing new formula or tips for doing X, Y, Z and one’s grief will magically dissipate… I wasn’t able to. I think I did find a fresh way of comforting my letter’s recipient, but the message behind my words was still “in time…”.
Writing this particular letter has actually helped me deal with my own grief. I felt much lighter after finishing and sending it along, as if I’d found a new way that worked for me as grief-release.
What I didn’t expect was being struck by realization (or rather thrown to the ice and being demanded that I pay attention) weeks later.
The Chef finally convinced me to go ice skating. I haven’t done so ever since I was around 8 years old.
Sure, I rollerblade very well, but was afraid of stepping onto the ice, knowing it would be very different from the dry-land version. I kept putting it off. And for good reason might I add, as my friends went ice skating right before Christmas, then New Year and I wanted to have all limbs intact for the holidays.
However, I had no more excuses for last week… And there I went.
A friend let me borrow her skates since she couldn’t make it, so I arrived at the ice skating rink, got equipped and stood around waiting. It wasn’t too bad, I could walk or stand and keep my balance without any problems.
We slowly progressed in the crowd towards the ice rink once it was cleaned and ready for use.
I stepped onto the ice and it felt so strange. The Chef held my hand tight and gave me a few pointers like “Bend your knees a bit more”, "Don’t be afraid" and reassured me “It’ll be alright” – and I let go.
I let go of all the fear and anxiousness I’ve managed to gather up until that point. And it all went well.
We skated for two laps holding hands, and then I let go of the Chef’s hand, and skated on my own.
It felt so good! Not to mention how happy I was that no one had to stick around and teach me very slowly how to ice skate.
I only held the Chef’s hand again at times when I wanted to gain more speed.
Then I sometimes let go of his hand even then.
I leapt and the net appeared, even if only figuratively speaking.
During the whole time, I kept thinking of the person who has taught me how to ice skate some 16 years ago. I mentioned it to the Chef.
About fifteen minutes before our time on the rink was up however, my skate’s toe picks made me trip up in a place the ice was overused/had some holes made by people previously jumping there.
Naturally, I fell. It hurt. (My hip and knee were blue/purple/black within the hour.)
But I got right back up, brushed the ice off of my clothes and was on my way a couple of minutes after the event.
But in that moment, when my body hit the ice, when, even though it felt like eternity, I quickly brought my hands near me and proceeded to pick myself up – I could see it.
I could clearly recall the very first time I ice skated.
I could clearly recall the very first time I fell when I was 8 years old and my uncle was right there next to me, right there to pick me up quickly.
When he didn’t give me any time to think past being on the ice one second and being upright the next.
When he kissed me and held my hand for a little while longer before letting it go again as I skated some more.
And I felt it. I felt some of my grief being relieved.
I felt like he could see me, like he was right there next to me again so I wouldn’t get blocked and scared.
I felt like he would be proud of me.
I felt like I was connected with him in a way that absolutely nothing can ever diminish.
Not even death.
I’m going ice skating again this evening. And I will try to pay more attention.
But I know He’ll be watching, ready to help me get right back up in case I fall again.